"Shutter Island," Martin Scorcese's nightmarish tale of a hospital for the criminally insane, has become America's favorite movie. The hospital's patients — or convicts — are in a state of denial, refusing to recognize the reality of their gruesome crimes. When it comes to the crimes of 9/11, America seems like "Shutter Island."
At a 9/11 conference held Feb. 19 in San Francisco, the consensus view presented was that those who swallow the government's view of the attacks are denying reality. Several speakers at the gathering, organized by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, explained with powerful evidence and images how the three World Trade Center towers most certainly collapsed with the aid of explosives.
That's right — there were three towers that collapsed on Sept. 11. The mysterious implosion of WTC 7, a 47-story, steel-ribbed giant not struck by any jets, is an unknown fact to the vast majority of Americans. To the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, however, the 6-second demise of WTC 7 is smoking gun evidence exposing the hollow fraud of the official conspiracy theory, that 19 Muslims, without inside help, attacked us that day.
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At the San Francisco conference, which celebrated reaching the 1,000-signature milestone of architects and engineers petitioning for a new 9/11 investigation, attendees watched the demise of WTC 7 on a split screen. Opposite the image of troublesome WTC 7, we watched a similarly-sized building implode in a planned demolition. The images were identical.
On behalf of those who signed the petition, Richard Gage, who founded Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, asked his audience: "Why are we risking our reputation, our time, our energy?" Regarding the destruction of the 110-story twin towers, Gage emphasized several facts that point to the use of explosives: the speed and symmetry of the collapses, lateral ejections of huge steel beams, tons of molten iron "flowing like lava" witnessed weeks afterward, and the recently unsealed testimony of more than100 first-responders reporting explosions.
Former BYU physics professor Steven Jones methodically showed how microscopic analysis of WTC dust samples also pointed to the use of explosives. Jones claims the abundant evidence of molten iron microspheres as well as other traces of thermite invalidate beyond a reasonable doubt the official, non-explosives theory of how the WTC towers collapsed. The laws of chemistry and physics, including the melting point of steel, Jones explained, should not be open to political manipulation.
Yet government officials, those who "investigated" 9/11, never even tested for the use of chemicals or explosives in the demise of the buildings. This neglect was a "complete violation" of standard fire-investigation procedures, explained Erik Lawyer, founder of Firemen for 9/11 Truth. He ended his talk with obvious passion: "343 of our murdered brothers are crying out for justice."
Dr. David Ray Griffin, former religion professor and perhaps the most prolific and influential author in the 9/11 truth movement, spoke about the cover-up. He reminded everyone that, thus far, the only investigations into 9/11 were carefully controlled by the Bush administration. These inquiries began with pre-existent conclusions and avoided all facts that led elsewhere. Dr. Griffin and the other conference speakers called for new investigations with subpoena power and true independence.
Does all this evidence for an inside job on 9/11 actually exist? Did this San Francisco conference really happen? Like WTC 7, the conference was virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Perhaps to some it all seemed like irrelevant "old" news, just the latest outburst by a bunch of "conspiracy nuts," nothing worthy of our attention. Before rejecting the conspiratorial views of these architects and engineers as crazy, however, one might reflect on an on-screen statement from Albert Einstein that began the conference: "Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance."
It might be far easier on our national psyche to deny the vast amount of evidence pointing to inside collaboration on the 9/11 attacks. The implications of an inside job are horrific. How could traitors among us do such a thing? Could we ever admit that we initiated two wars and gross violations of our national values, including torturing suspects and spying on our own citizens, all because of a lie? If the WTC towers were exploded, as the San Francisco group of architects and engineers boldly contend, how have our media, our leaders and we American citizens been so blind?
Yes, to discover the truth about 9/11 would be extremely painful indeed. But not facing the truth and swallowing our government's current lies about the attacks requires that we deny a mountain of powerful, incriminating evidence. If we persist in our denial, we will indeed continue to resemble the sad, sick inmates of "Shutter Island."
Ron Hertz has lived in Ashland for five years. He taught high school in California for 30 years.